Friday, December 30, 2011

Goodbye 2011

And so the year 2011 comes to a close.  The year seemed to just fly by.  Although the summer humidity felt like it lasted forever.  We are just now starting to get some nice cool temps.  I love sitting by the wood stove and sipping my morning coffee. 

I spent a good deal of time in the studio last week putting away all the Christmas papers, embellishments and ribbon.  Time to move on to something new.  Started working on a couple Valentine projects, a birthday tag pocket and making some felt flowers.

I love Valentine projects.  All the shabby goodness, the cupids, the hearts.  The pink.  I bought some pink paper bags some time back and had no clue what I was going to do with them.  I just knew I needed them!  So today I pulled one out and made this.

Happy New Year and Until Next Time,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Most Purrfect Christmas Gift

It’s Christmas Eve day.  The cat’s stockings are filled, the tree is bright with lights, the fruitcake is baked (don’t groan, John loves it) and Santa will be visiting soon.

I got my gift early this year.  In the form of an elusive, gray male cat that I have been trying to trap/neuter for over a year.  Seriously.  This guy has been the most clever cat I’ve ever known. 

Well, I finally won.  After much sitting, waiting, working I got him in the trap.  He is now neutered and has been released back to the colony.  Hurray!!!  Wish I had a picture of him but I didn’t want to distress him in the trap so I didn’t take one.  I’ll get one of him soon and post. 

So, my Christmas is complete!  Merry Christmas to me. The most purrfect gift.

Here’s my last Christmas project of the year.  A card for John.  Not too fru fru, yet still vintagey, shabby. 
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!  How blessed we are.

Until next time,

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Little Holiday Joy

Ok, so for the 5 friends who are reading my blog, I know I have been gone very long.  I am trying to catch up with several things and this blog is one of them.

On a personal note, I have had some health issues and many days it’s a struggle to do all I would like to do.  But I do like my little blog and hope I can do better at posting.

It seems like the end of summer arrived and then BAM!  the holidays were here.  I have managed to create a few things while lots more are on the to-do list.  One  thing I really had fun with is this altered chipboard Santa hat. 

I plan on creating some more projects like this.  I have plans for a couple banners, a recipe book and an embellished book to house all the cards my husband and I have given to each other over the years.  Right now I just keep them in folders in a file cabinet.  Not ideal I know.  The idea of the greeting card book came from Dawn McVey.  She created this super cute Christmas Card Mini Book which can be found on her blog here.

Another thing about the holidays are the traditions.  There is one thing I do every year without fail.  And that’s bake Christmas tree spritz cookies.  They are easy to do.  So cute on a cookie tray and yummy to boot.

I’ve used the same recipe for 50 years!  Seriously.  Well, wait.  Initially I was the helper in the kitchen using the recipe when I was about 8 years old.  Then I continued the tradition in my own home.  I even have one of the original Mirro cookie presses. 

Here’s a little picture of some of the trees I made.

Well that’s it for today.  I hope everyone is enjoying this wonderful time of year.

Until next time,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Project or Two

I love this time of year.  The weather turns cooler, the horsetail clouds are in the sky and things turn festive.

I’m ready to put Bing on and sing, sing, sing!!  When I said that though John and all the cats plugged their ears.  I can’t believe they don’t like Bing Crosby.

Our little Miss Dixie had to have surgery last week. Made me a nervous wreck.  I am so not good at stuff like this.  I worry myself to pieces.  She developed an ear hematoma that would not respond to a non-invasive first approach.  Anyway, all went well (thank goodness) and she is now on the mend and anxiously awaiting the removal of her stitches.  In the meantime she is taking full advantage of this episode.  She has been allowed to sit with me in the studio J

And speaking of studio, here is one of the cards I recently created using my new Big Shot. 

Woo Hoo!!!  I now can cut felt like butter.  With my Wizard, cutting felt was hit and miss.  And I've learned 100% wool felt does the best.  I tried 35% wool and even with the Big Shot did not get a clean cut unless I was using Tim Holz dies. 

And here is a painting project I completed. 

I painted one of these taper candle boxes a number of years ago for our home and just loved it.  It has such a nice homespun look doesn’t it?  Just wish I could photograph better.  Sigh. 

Until next time,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How My Garden Grows

I love to putz around in the garden.  It’s a struggle in the summer to get things to grow.  I’m mostly fighting bugs and getting eaten by mosquitoes.  Not too mention about to burst into flames from the heat. 

But when the humidity starts to lower I’m ready to start again!  This season I’ve planted squash, different tomatoes, some herbs, collards and peppers.  I seem to plant mostly the same things.  Except this time around I have a ‘volunteer’ plant growing! 

I didn’t plant a seed, I didn’t water or anything but it grew.  I have to say it’s my BEST plant ever!  Want to see a picture?  Ok. 
 John saw it first, came back in the house and told me I better look at the plants in the earth box.  I thought, oh no, figuring bugs got them or a possum.   But instead it’s our little Junior making himself at home on top of the collards.  Isn’t this the cutest????? He must not like collards. 

Now for some of the projects I’ve been working on. 
A little birthday card for a dear friend. 

A small little memo book.
The memo book is one of those little $1 store goodies covered with papers, wrinkle ribbon and a little die cut and paper flower.  Just the right size for tucking into your purse.

Until next time,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Those Were The Days

In The Jungle, The Mighty Jungle came on the radio while I was waiting in line at the Post Office earlier today.  Another lady in line and I started chatting about the ‘good ole days’… the early 60s.  The Tokens sang the song then and the music was like none other.

We talked about how we drank water from the garden hose, rode our bikes without helmets, took sips of coke from the same bottle our friends did, and lived. 

We rode in cars without seat belts and when mom or dad braked hard you reached out to the dashboard or the back of the front seats to brace yourself.  And sometimes we even laid in the back window of the car.  Remember that?  Ah… those were the days!

I love those times and this collection from Crate Paper is so nostalgic looking.  
Peppermint Collection – Crate Paper
It’s when your Christmas  tree had bubble lights and salt dough ornaments.  Real candy canes and Lighted Ice Snow Balls lights.  Good times.

I’m working on some projects using this paper line and will post that soon.  Hard to believe the holidays are just around the corner.  I’m so excited!  Love this time of year. 

Here’s a little inspiration for Halloween from Pinterest.
I’m not sure I could drink food that was looking at me but isn’t this waaaay cute.

Don’t you just love these????  Wish I had thought of them but then again I’d probably get weird about having the umbrellas open in the house! LOL!  John would hate them hitting him in the face when he walked under them.
And this has nothing to do with Halloween but I thought it was such a clever thing to do with an old crib.  I need to go to the thrift store now and find a crib.  Such potential for soooo many uses.  I’d like to repurpose as a craft table with the table top extended so I could scoot up under it in my chair.

Until next time,

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Look Inside

I’m always so awed seeing pictures of other studios/craft rooms.  I always think I’ll get my act together in my own.  But, alas, it’s not happening.  Mine is what it is.  A lot of this and that.  Clutter here and there.  Too much of many things.  Heaven on earth.

So first I’ll say… this is my 3rd studio.  My first one was our gazebo.  John closed it in for me and added air-conditioning.  And then not long after he expanded it for me by adding a sink, bathroom and a sewing area.  I thought it was the deal and I loved it for a long time. 

Then he built himself this GINORMUS workshop.  Hello!  I need some of that.  It had built-in cabinets and a loooong worktable made from a laminate countertop, a sink and bathroom.  I could just see myself all spread out in there with my projects lining that worktable. 

So after a lot of personal pity parties and dragging my feet in a dramatic way… I moved in to my new studio!  John moved out.  Poor John.

That studio was the bomb!  Seriously, it was a dream to work in.  I even had an attic for storage with pull down steps for access.  Loved-loved-loved it.  Then one summer caterpillars came.  They hung from the trees.  They fell on your head.  Your arms.  Your neck.  Ewwwww!  I was hysterical.  I need another studio.  One connected to the house where I don’t have to walk outside.

So here we are today.  My 3rd (and last) studio.  Let’s take a peek inside.

My first love is painting.  This is a picture of my bottled acrylics in racks on a shelving unit John made for them.  Love this unit.  

The lower part of the unit holds plastic drawers with my oils, gouaches and fabric paints.  I also keep my palette paper, vellum, canvas boards and a little sewing drawer here.  My paint table is situated in front of this unit so it’s convenient to turn around and grab the paints I need for a project.
Looking to the right of this unit is a bookshelf John made to keep all my painting and reference books.  The binders hold magazine articles/projects. 
This bookcase is a $10 yard sale find.  As you can see I went right to using it without repainting.  Good solid wood and very sturdy.  See that little spice rack?  That's where I keep all my glitter.
I keep some embellishments here for paper crafting.  Flowers, buttons (note those in the plastic bag that need sorting), trims and a huge jar of ribbon scraps.  The lower half of this unit houses a bin of old roofing slates for painting. 

All my trims are kept in this old wood file box.   
 This has been the BEST system for organizing these trims.  Credit goes to Saphira.  Here’s her blog:

Picture of my cutting table. 
I keep my paper packs and my theme papers (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc) in an old metal record (as in vinyl) rack.  Snagged it at a thrift shop and just love it!  On the top I stash my paper cutter (when not using) and my handy dandy Martha Stewart score board.  Under the rack is room to keep my ream of paper I use for Copics, my Xyron and my scale for postage. 

I keep my cardstock in this file box thingy.  
I sorted colors, put into hanging files and then just cut file folders and labeled.  Not pretty but it is very workable.

On top of this cabinet (another John made), I keep my Wizard, dies, projector and a basket of random fabric and other paper scraps.  Inside I have wood items for painting. 
I tried several different ways to store my dies.  I ended up with this system which I like the best.  Using a large index file with index folders, I labeled each folder with the name of the die.  Inside I sewed a pocket to hold the die.  It’s easy to grab what I want and having it by my Wizard makes it convenient.
And remember my original studio?  The closed in gazebo?  This is who lives there now.
His name is Billy.  He found me over 11 years ago.  He was solid gray…   until he had a bath and then his beautiful white fur appeared.  Sadly he was diagnosed with leukemia and cannot come into contact with our other cats.  But he lives a comfortable and loved life.  John installed a cat door in the gazebo and made an enclosed cat run for him.  This way he can enjoy the outdoors in safety if he chooses.  We are blessed to have him.

Well, that’s all folks!  Nothing fancy.  Lots of mismatched stuff and lots of mess but I love it all. More to follow another day.

Until next time,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Angel Among Us

When I first started decorative painting, aka tole painting, I tried to attend painting conventions hosted in my local area.  I don’t like to fly.  And it was during one of these conventions that I met Debbie Kaput. 

I knew of Debbie through an online network of other tole painters called ToleNet.  Debbie frequently posted to the group and shared her knowledge of painting.  Just reading Debbie’s posts always made you smile.  She had a special way about her that was evident even though I had never met her in person.

Then I met Debbie while attending a convention in Orlando.  I remember feeling like I had known her forever.  She was just that kind of person.  Open, inviting, caring and kind.  A pleasure to know for sure.

Sadly, Debbie passed away in 1999 at the young age of 46 from colon cancer.  All of us who had met Debbie and those who knew her from ToleNet were extremely saddened.   We missed her presence.  

This design is one of Debbie’s. 

I think of her each time I paint this angel.  I love knowing that she lives on in our hearts and in our painting. 

Until next time,

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Birthday Wishes

 A friend recently asked me to make a birthday card for a friend of hers.  I wanted to do something girlie and fresh looking.  I pulled some of my stash of The Girl's Paperie paper and layered it with some pink and yellow gingham.  I love gingham!  Reminds me of homespun fabric that I absolutely adore.  It adds such warmth to a home. 

Anyway, I digress.  I added a paper doily that I distressed along with a blue ticket that I stamped "Wish!" on.  Used a tiny tag from Papertrey Ink and there ya have it. 

A sweet little card for someone special.  Love the sentiment on the die cut.  So true. 

I also want to share some pics of my garden flowers.  I love gardening.  Mostly in the spring and fall/winter when the weather isn't so blazing hot and humid.  The summer takes such a toll on the plants no matter what I do.  I always hate knowing I'll lose some.

This is our Desert Rose.  Flowers like crazy and super simple to care for.  Drought tolerant which is a huge plus.
My hanging geranium in red.  I've loved geraniums since I was a kid.  My Nana always had them growing in planters on her and Papa's porch.  The smell is so distinctive and it always brings back good memories.
Ah.. my hydrangea.  You wouldn't believe how I've babied this thing!  This is another fond memory from childhood at Nana and Papa's.  They had hydrangeas in blue and I always thought they were so pretty.  Wish I had them all around the house.  Maybe one day
Until next time, 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Just Some This and That

I know I've been harping about fall lately.  Seems like I can't get it out of my head.  I am so ready for it.  With all these hot-hot days the country is having I think everyone is probably ready!

I've been seeing a lot of fall inspiration in the stores too.  This is when summer is tucked away and the season begins.  So when I was having a restless night recently I thought about all these little snippets of fall and what I wanted to do with them.  I have some cotton bags that I love to embellish.  They make cute little decorations all year long with different seasonal touches. 

I pulled out one of the bags and added some fall whimsy.

I love all the different colors and sizes of the pumpkins!  So cute.  And the vines, leaves and berries add a sweet touch.  I weighted the bag so it would stand nicely on the table.  Then I added some wrinkle ribbon and a stamped tag tied with bakers twine.  The wrinkle ribbon is from PrairieBirdBoutique.  Love the colors from this little shop on Etsy.

Perfect for a little touch of autumn in the house.  Looks sweet decorating a fall table next to a place setting.  And these little bags could also be used as gifts for guests at a seasonal party.

More projects coming soon.  I've been working on a little Halloween and Christmas too.  The holidays are just around the corner!  

Until next time, 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have A Seat

Well a big thump on the head to me!  In my last post I mentioned Margie was coming out with a new line.  I even posted pics of the line.  Thing is I didn't realize that was the line replacing The Girls' Paperie 'style.'  D.U.H.  I  do like the papers, but I was really hoping that there would be some like Girls' Paperie too :(  

Ok, now that that is over with let me talk about my latest project.  A painting project and one that I started awhile back.  It started with John bring home this chair. 

Yes, it looks pretty sad like this.  He said he knew I would want it to paint.  So the chair sat and sat (ha! ha!) while I contemplated what I would paint on it.  I knew I wanted the base to be black so John did this while I kept pondering. 

Then one day it hit me!  You know how I love the fall.  I mean I keep talking about it and wishing for it.  It is my favorite season afterall next to Christmas.  So, drumroll please, here's the chair all painted up and reading for sittin'. 



I do love how it turned out.  All homey and cozy looking.  I'm thinking I'll tie a little homespun on the side two back thingies.  I know... I'm a technical genius. 

Coming up I'll have some pictures of a thrift shop find that I scooped up for storing paper in my studio.  I love anything that I can re-purpose.  I'll also post some Christmas in July gift tags I've been working on. 

Until next time,


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vintage Birthday Wishes

Thank goodness the fireworks are over!  Don't get me wrong.  I like the big show fireworks that our community puts on.  It's the neighborhood ones that I can do without.  They start up to a week before the 4th and don't stop until days afterward.  And I actually wouldn't mind those if the noise would stop at a decent time.  But midnight and later is too late for us.  

A friend and I went to a local scrapbook store yesterday.  We needed to get paper.  We were running low.  LOL!!  Ok, so we didn't really *need* paper we just couldn't stop ourselves from adding to our stash.  

The store had some new product out.  The new line from Margie Romney-Aslett. Authentique.  


So pretty.  I love those tiny alphabet stickers.  And I love, love, love The Girls' Paperie Vintage Whimsy papers.  Some of the papers remind me of vintage wallpaper.  

See what I mean?   Love it.  I just read that Girls' Paperie is going away.   Margie is still going to design papers but don't know what yet.  I'm sure it will be great but I will certainly miss The Girls' Paperie.

I seem to like all things vintage.  Well except perhaps the old wringer washer. Ugh!   If I had to wash clothes that way they wouldn't get done.  Lots of admiration for the prior generations.  They sure had it hard. 

Anyway...  so I made this little card for my sister recently. 

She will be 60.  So close to vintage :-)  I love making those flowers from old sewing patterns.  You just cut a bunch of circles.  Dampen them a little bit and smoosh them.  Let dry and fiddle with them a little, stick a brad in the center and voila!  All done.  
Until next time, 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Something New

Is that not the cutest image?  It's actually me, sewing a little sumtin, sumtin for 4th of July.  As you can see I've been very busy.  I painted the blue bird first.  Whew!  I'm a little tired now. 

Ok, so I need to thank Free Pretty Things For You for the image.  You can find them here:  .   Pop on over there and check them out. Some really cute stuff.  And free! how can you beat that? 

So we're nearing the 4th and today I'm featuring some recent findings that I love.  Hope you do too. 

I'm making this today.  All fancy and everything.  I'm amazing.  I know. 

Courtesy of Pinterest

When I finish with the pie I'm decorating our porch.  Shouldn't there be a cat in this picture???

Courtesy of Country Home
Remember drinking from straws like this when you were little?  Except ours didn't have the flags on them.  Clearly we were deprived.  

Etsy - A Measured Gift
I love this room.  But honestly, is our bedroom supposed to look like this?  I'd have to sleep on the floor so I wouldn't mess it up.

Courtesy of Country Home
Ah... Freedom indeed.  We are so fortunate to live in this great country.  

Etsy - Bekahjennings
Have a safe and happy 4th.  Until next time, 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thought I'd share a card I made today.  I still have fall on the brain.  This time it's Halloween!

I love Halloween.  Not so much the blackness that it has become but what it used to be 'in the day'.   Remember how you'd go trick-or-treating and come back with a sack full of goodies?  And you'd eat so much you'd feel queasy?  And then the next morning you'd have candy for breakfast!  Ah... those were the days. 

So I pulled out some fun Papertrey Ink stamps, grabbed some Halloween paper and my Copics and voila!  A sweet jar of candy corn.  

Until next time, 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Fowl

I spent some time painting recently.  Had a couple of projects that I've been working on that I wanted to finish up.  One was a paper mache box that I painted a rooster on.  This design looks cute painted on a galvanized bucket.  Perfect for the country lover.
He's just standing around in his feed pan probably wondering where the chicks are.  
While I was painting this I thought about the time John and I were outside and saw a couple of chickens wandering down our street.  We live in the city.  Chickens don't walk the streets.  Where the heck did they come from?  Who do they belong to?  

You could tell they had no clue they were in the city.  They just kept dilly-dallying along.  So John and I decided we should rescue them and hold them until we could find the owners.  Problem was... no owners were to be found. 

What to do.  What to do.  I know!!  Build a cage for them.  We'll keep them.  We'll have fresh eggs every day.  Hurray!

So John built this nice chicken coop thingy for them, we get food and water set up and then we wait for the eggs to appear.  A couple of weeks have passed.  No eggs.  Doesn't it happen automatically?  Are we supposed to coax them into laying eggs?  

Maybe they don't like the food.  We get different food.  They eat the food.  Seem to like the food.  No eggs. 

So a number of weeks pass.  We figure they are too young.  Not yet old enough to lay eggs.  What else could it be????!!!  Then one morning around 5 o'clock there's crowing.  I mean a LOT of crowing.  And then we realize it's coming from our yard!  Are chickens supposed to be crowing we ask.  Hmmmm, they must be confused.  

And the crowing continues.  Morning after morning after morning.  Actually they crow more than just in the morning.  They LOVE to crow.  Let's crow all the day long.  

Ok, so we didn't know chickens from roosters apparently.  Sigh.  The roosters must go.  Our neighbors are going to bean us over the head.  So we find a country home for the roosters.  And from then on I am allowed to only paint chickens...  roosters. 

Until next time, 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Autumn Wishing

Yes, I do know that it is June.  But I tell ya, here in Florida we are about to burst into flames.  It's hot-hot-hot!  With temps in the upper 90s and the heat index in the low 100s, I've started some wishful thinking for cooler weather. 

I love the fall.  The pumpkins, the colors, the leaves (ok, so I have to get mine from a friend who lives in Boston) and the wonderful autumn smells.  Sometimes just pulling out all my fall decorating gets me feeling better.  Well, that and lowering the a/c to 60 degrees.

No, I didn't pull out all my fall treasures but I did decide to make a autumn themed card.  Don't you just love this color combination?  Makes me want to head to the kitchen to bake pumpkin bread. But it's too dang hot!

Until next time,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Crafty Storage

Today I'm focusing on a couple ways I store some of my crafty supplies.  Since I use my studio for mixed media projects (paper and painting), I am always trying to improve my storage. 

Let's start with embellishments.  I've tried several different ways to store all the little bits and pieces of stuff that I use while papercrafting.  Initially I threw it in a plastic pull-out drawer and would just dig through it all until I found what I was looking for.  That proved to be frustrating as I collected more and more 'stuff.' 

I considered one of those Clip-Up thingies but to be honest I didn't want to take up table top space.  And I figured I'd outgrow the thing.  So I pulled all my die cut embellishments out, separated them into like piles and then just stared at all the little piles!   Holy Smokes! what am I doing with all this?!  Which sounds like something my hubby would say.

Anyhoo... so here is the picture of the system I use for my die cuts.

I took one of those photo storage boxes you get from Michael's and placed 2 plastic containers inside.  This left just a bit of room on the side for anything that ends up not fitting in the poly bags.

Then I put all the little sorted piles of stuff into 4x4 poly bags that I had.  I didn't seal any of the bags, just left them open and easily accessible.  Plus some wouldn't have closed anyway.

You can see the plastic containers a little better in this picture.   The poly bags fit perfectly.  Also, I can put the lid on the box if needed.  Not real tight but just to keep dust out if I leave it on my table.  I usually just tuck the whole thing in a drawer, with the lid on the bottom like shown.

And here's a view of the little bags with some of their contents.  See.. everything is sorted and it's really easy to thumb through the bags and find what I want to use. 

The next thing I did was change my ribbon storage.  I've tried all sorts of ways of storing my ribbon.  And for me, this is by far the easiest, most efficient way.  I took this shelf I wasn't using and just popped my spools on it by color.  The width of the shelves fit the spools perfectly and now when I need ribbon, I just grab the spool(s) and match it to what I am working on and snip away! 

I can storage between 70-75 spools of ribbon on this one shelf.  Love it!  And I love that I can just grab the spool without a lot of fuss and get on with it.  The spools were more difficult to remove on the dowel systems I used before.  Which proved to be a pain when I just wanted to grab a couple spools to see what I liked. 

I do keep my twill and seam binding in a small basket on my worktable.  And I have a box of spools of Christmas ribbon on another shelf along with a big ole' jar of ribbon snippets. 

Ok, that's it for today.  I hope you enjoyed these little ideas.  Maybe one will work for you!

Until next time,

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rainy Day Reading Bookmark

I thought I would start with a simple little project today.  An easy to do bookmark.  

When I was choosing papers for this project I wanted both the front and back of the bookmark to be pretty.  So I chose double-side paper.  You could also use a pretty color felt but in this case it would not have been sturdy enough for all the embellishments I used.


Next I assembled all the elements I wanted.  I die cut a tag, punched a circle and cut the bookmark itself.  Didn't use a die cut for this, just cut the paper 2"x6" and used a corner rounder on the top. I distressed the tag but nothing else.

I use a simple technique for distressing.  Just one of these makeup sponges that I dab lightly on the stamp, swirl on a blank sheet of palette paper and then softly go over what I want distressed.  Add more if needed and you're all set.

I always stamp my sentiments after distressing. Some people may do this before but my ink always smears so it doesn't work for me.  I'm probably doing something wrong here but can't figure out what it is. LOL!

Then I just started adhering it all together.  Tied some baker's twine around the punched circle to give it some dimension, added pop dots to the back and then added the little insect.  Here's the finished project.  My hubby looked at it and said "how the heck are you going to close the book?!".  He's just the cutest. Hmm.

Well that's it for today.  I hope you enjoyed.

Until next time,